Premia: An Online Resource for Disabled PhD Students

A streetlamp at duskDeveloped from an HEFCE-funded project at Newcastle University between 2003-2005, Premia provides masses of useful information for both PhD and other early career researchers with disability or chronic illness and for supervisors or other academic personnel who work with them.

Site content is split into two main areas:  information and resources for PhD students, and information and resources for their supervisors or managers.

All supervisors should be encouraged to read this as part of their Continuing Professional Development.  Doing so would substantially reduce the need for disabled students to self-advocate as much as they often have to, and would do much to improve the overall cultural context which can often unintentionally disadvantage disabled researchers.

All students embarking on a PhD with a disability or chronic illness should read this to have their eyes blown open about the support they’re entitled to and the fact that they are not alone in their situation.  Even better, why not use sections from the site to support your own efforts at self-advocacy rather than having to spend any more of your precious and already limited energy and attention on explaining things. Again. And perhaps again.

Imagine what things would be like if disabled PhD students arrived and could assume that a majority of lecturers and other staff were fully familiarized with the details contained herein?  Enough imagining: let’s make it happen.

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